While insurance companies are in business to provide support when a person experiences a sudden emergency, it’s important to remember they are also in business—they are out to make money and protect their own bottom line. This means that after an accident and injury, insurance companies will often make it difficult for victims to obtain the compensation they need for a successful recovery. It is possible to overcome these obstacles, however, to ensure you and your loved ones can recover as fully as possible.
Common Insurance Company Tactics and Excuses
Insurance adjusters are almost always friendly and understanding. They may act like they are on your side and are working to help you, but their job is to save their employer money even when it means undermining a legitimate claim. Be aware of these common tactics:
- Asking for a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters almost always ask for a recorded statement, and they may even make it seem like the victim is obligated to provide this statement. This is not always the case, and even when it is, the victim has the right to have an attorney present during the interview. The attorney can help you answer their questions in a way that will protect your rights going forward. The insurance company will use anything you say against you any way they can, so it is best to say nothing at all or provide as little information as possible.
- Offering a quick settlement. After an injury, the physical, emotional, and financial strain can be overwhelming. Victims often simply wish to go back to their normal lives as quickly as possible. Insurance adjusters know this, and they will offer a quick settlement. Typically, this offer is significantly lower than what the victim deserves, and once it is accepted, it cannot be undone. Do not accept any settlement offer until an attorney has reviewed it to make sure all your needs are covered.
- Claiming your injuries stem from another source. To avoid paying your medical bills, insurance companies will attempt to blame your injuries on a pre-existing condition or an old accident. While your past medical history may affect the treatment of your new injuries, it does not negate the insurance company’s responsibility to pay. An experienced lawyer can help you find a doctor if necessary and maintain records that can demonstrate that your injuries are the result of your accident.
- Needlessly delaying your claim. They are investigating. They are reviewing. They need more information. These excuses and others are frustrating and inappropriate. Insurance companies have an obligation to respond to claims in a timely manner, but they may attempt to delay in hopes that injury victims will simply give up. The law requires a response, and a lawyer can help you demand one.
- Telling you that you don’t need a lawyer. It’s true that insurance settlements do not require an attorney, but they can certainly benefit from one. An experienced attorney has been in this situation with other clients, and they can help you more fully understand your rights. They know what a fair settlement offer would be, and they can help you navigate the legal process to hold unethical insurance companies responsible.
An Experienced Anchorage Attorney Can Help
At The Law Office of Ben Crittenden, Alaska personal injury lawyer Ben Crittenden has helped many accident victims obtain the compensation they need for medical care and lost wages. He understands these insurance company tactics and others, and he works hard to make sure every client is provided what they deserve. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to Ben today. Fill out the contact form on this page to hear from Ben directly or request a copy of his free book, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska.